The Pyrenees mountain range stretches more than 430km between Spain and France and rises higher than 3,400m in elevation. It goes from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea on the east coast to the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast. Trails traverse the entire length of the range and this is what Kudu has delight in sharing with you. In the late 1700s war led to the smuggling of weapons. A network of tracks was formed by the smugglers across the Pyrenees, to avoid the borders. The tour will be taking you through the valleys and mountains of such trails. You can become lost in time as you experience an element of wilderness and natural beauty as you travel.
The tour starts in Andorra where we will leave on some of the old smugglers’ routes. Over the next two days we head towards the Mediterranean coastal town of Collioure, a town steeped in art history which hosts a famous Church with a pink phallic tower. The journey takes us through the Spanish side of the rugged mountain range. It comprises endless trails through the mountains and valleys. There’s plenty of flora and fauna to see. You’ll see the splendour of natural beauty at it’s best. The vultures will majestically soar above you in places and you may even be privileged to see a golden eagle.
As we cross the expanse of the Pyrenees, you will notice the changing terrain from forests to the mountains; passing through ancient villages and into agricultural areas.
Passing through some of the vineyards there will be opportunity to purchase a local bottle or two. You will pass by several Romanic bridges spanning the rivers, and the trails will lead you to ancient Churches and Castles. A roman spa ruin and aquaduct is another place of interest we pass. The terrain varies from some gentle tracks where you can relax and enjoy the scenery to the more challenging rock terrain with ruts and erosion where you’ll want to keep your eyes ahead of you and pick your line. If you don’t have air conditioning and your windows are open, you can listen out for the cowbell chorus as the cattle roam.
Heading towards the west coast we pass through a plateaux which hosts hills and gullies, which have been formed over thousands of years and appear lunar in effect. This is a very different landscape to that of the mountains. We continue slowly back into the mountains and cross the border into France heading to our final destination St Jean Pied de Port. We will camp in a nearby village before heading to Santander where we will get the ferry home.